Indeed, the show throttled, hurtled and featured freak-outs at opportune moments, disappointing only in that it was too short. (“We’re on a curfew. It’s one of those,” said Lloyd sheepishly as he waved goodbye and did not oblige an encore.) Castles and Are You Experienced went over best of the Hendrix cuts; Lloyd’s vocals on each weren’t the goading Hendrix phrases but a more haunted, near-whispered, ominous-sounding delivery. Combined with lengthy fuzz-bomb guitar stretches – and plenty of free jazz havoc wreaking, scorching progressions and more nuanced tonal acrobatics – they felt like Lloyd using Hendrix songs as a launching pad for Richard Lloyd music, not paying guarded tribute like he does on the album.
It was Lloyd’s night, but no one onstage looked to be having more fun than bassist Danny Tamberelli, who is on tour with Lloyd but also opened the night with Jounce. Tamberelli – who (trivia alert, and inescapably) played Little Pete in Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Pete & Pete – found the pocket with Dictators drummer JT “Thunderbolt” Patterson seemingly in minute one, and never let up, rumbling along as Lloyd kicked out the squawking jams.
Jounce itself has come a long way; following its emergence as a somewhat unfocused jamband, the band successfully reinvented itself some years back into a psychedelic, indie rock sort of unit prone to improvisation and a touch of electronica — a jammier Kings of Leon without the southern rock, maybe, or maybe a tie-dyed, pie-eyed Pavement.
Whatever it is, it’s made them interesting, and they made the most of a 40-minute opening slot, playing to a sparse club crowd like it was a packed theater and not letting a little thing like a blown amp derail their big finish, a rocker called These Things (from an album of the same name) that started nimbly and eventually morphed into a sprawling, psychedelic cataclysm. There’s a lot of that happening in Jounce’s songs, actually; Jounce doesn’t feel like it has to say everything about a song in the first 30 seconds, and doesn’t mind taking a little time to bait the hook.
The same approach carries to Miracle Legion’s The Heart Is Attached – Jounce’s contribution to Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy – which in the middle of its Le Poisson Rouge set delivered drama without overdoing it or burying it in speed-picked guitar or fuzzy keyboard. I await their next show and next batch of songs; rare is the psychedelic rock band that knows the difference between spaced-out songs and strong hooks to buoy spacey jams.